Hired labour refers to a situation where the recipient of the work (the user company) hires employees of another company (the agency) with an assignment agreement. For hired labour the rights and responsibilities relating to the contract of employment are divided so that the right to supervise the work are transferred to the user company. At the same time the employer's responsibilities which are directly related to carrying out and organising the work are also transferred onto the user company.
In the Equality Act the compensation responsibility of the employer is extended to the user company in situations where the user company is using its authority as an employer towards the hired labour. Therefore the user company has the responsibility to also follow the Equality Act's regulations regarding employers when it comes to hired labour during the time the work is being carried out and supervised and in matters relating to working conditions. The user company is for example responsible for preventing harassment and for dividing tasks so that employees are not treated differently because of their gender.
The demand of equal treatment will mainly arise in situations where the employer has a lot of hired labour, in which case the employer has to treat all hired labour equally in relation to each other. The employer also has to follow the principle of non-discrimination between hired labour and their own employees in matters where the employer is using their authority as an employer.
The agency who has a contract of employment with the hired labour has to take care of all other employer responsibilities. The user company is not in charge of decision made by the agency as an employer. In the future the agency will also have sole employer responsibility for example in situations where an agency employee who is pregnant is dismissed because or her pregnancy.